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US researchers will study Verde River

PRESCOTT - U.S. Geological Survey researchers plan to study how changes in the flow of the middle and upper Verde River might affect plant and animal life and water quality. Lower stream flows could be caused by global warming or groundwater pumping and affect the viability of some fish and bird species.

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Wildlife group highlights 24 Arizona species threatened by climate change

The desert tortoise thrives in intense heat and can go a year without water, but it's among the species threatened by climate change, an wildlife group says. Looking toward events Oct. 24 calling attention to carbon emissions and their role in warming the planet, the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity released a report highlighting 350 animal and plant species it says could vanish due to climate change. Of those, 24 are Arizona locals.

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Sen. Melvin focuses on nuclear power at panel hearing (access required)

As the energy debate heats up in the nation's capital, policymakers in Arizona have begun asking questions about the implications of cap-and-trade legislation and other climate initiatives for the state. For the second time in a month, legislators held a hearing on energy policy, specifically on what the state's energy future would look like. At least two more hearings are scheduled.

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State GOP says Sierra Club not welcome on tribal lands (access required)

The Hopi and Navajo nations have become central figures in a spat between two quarrelling political groups, the Sierra Club and Arizona Republican Party. Conflicting reports from the political organizations painted the picture in different ways. A Republican news release claimed that the Sierra Club was asked to leave the tribal nations, while the Sierra Club maintained that they are continuing to work with both tribes.

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Authorities investigate Kartchner Caverns break-in

Intruders broke into the crown jewel of Arizona's state park system over the weekend, leaving a trail of minor damage in one of Kartchner Caverns' most fragile caves, authorities said Oct. 13. Suspects forced a door open through the lower portal of the cavern sometime during the night on Oct. 11, officials said.

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Arizona raided water funds that held money deposited by Nevada (access required)

The Legislature is getting sued, again, over fund sweeps initiated earlier this year to close the state budget gap. A commission charged with delivering water from the Colorado River to several Arizona counties and Native American tribes has filed a lawsuit with the Arizona Supreme Court to challenge the Legislature's decision to sweep millions of dollars held by the Arizona Water Banking Authority.

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Interior secretary, congresswoman help dedicate Arizona’s first commercial-scale wind farm

HEBER - It was appropriately windy Oct. 12 for the dedication of the first commercial-scale wind farm in Arizona. And speakers ranging from U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, to executives from Salt River Project said the message the facility sends is as important as the power it will generate.

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